Interesting books 2023

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  • How the World Really Works by Vaclav Smil
    “A new masterpiece from one of my favorite authors… [How The World Really Works] is a compelling and highly readable book that leaves readers with the fundamental grounding needed to help solve the world’s toughest challenges.”— Bill Gates
  • Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
    The INTERNATIONAL AND SUNDAY TIMES bestseller; All leaders are constrained by geography. their choices are limited by mountains, rivers, seas and concrete. Yes, to understand world events you need to understand people, ideas and movements. . . but if you dont know geography, youll never have the full picture. ; To understand Putins actions, for example, it is essential to consider that, to be a world power, Russia must have a navy. And if its ports freeze for six months each year then it must have access to a warm water port – hence, the annexation of Crimea was the only option for Putin. To understand the Middle East, it is crucial to know that geography is the reason why countries have logically been shaped as they are – and this is why invented countries (e. g. Syria, Iraq, Libya) will not survive as nation states. ; Spread over ten chapters (covering Russia; China; the USA; Latin America; the Middle East; Africa; India and Pakistan; Europe; Japan and Korea; and Greenland and the Arctic)
    Link to the book on
  • Doughnut Economics by Raworth Kate
    Economics is broken, and the planet is paying the price. Unforeseen financial crises. Extreme wealth inequality. Relentless pressure on the environment. Can we go on like this? Is there an alternative? In Doughnut Economics, Oxford academic Kate Raworth lays out the seven deadly mistakes of economics and offers a radical re-envisioning of the system that has brought us to the point of ruin. Moving beyond the myths of rational economic man and unlimited growth, Doughnut Economics zeroes in on the sweet spot: a system that meets all our needs without exhausting the planet. the demands of the 21st century require a new shape of economics. This might just be it. *the Sunday Times bestseller* *A Financial Times and Forbes Book of the Year*
    Link to the book on
  • The Black Swan: Second Edition by Taleb Nassim Nicholas
    The most influential book of the past seventy-five years: a groundbreaking exploration of everything we know about what we dont know, now with a new section called On Robustness and Fragility. A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. the astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 911. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives. Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur?
    Link to the book on
  • Risk Savvy: How to make good decisions by Gerd Gigerenzer
    In Risk Savvy, Gigerenzer reveals that most of us, including doctors, lawyers, financial advisers, and elected officials, misunderstand statistics much more often than we think, leaving us not only misinformed, but vulnerable to exploitation.
    Link to the book on GoodReads
  • ‘The World for Sale’ by Javier Blas and Jack Farchyauthor
    A large share of the world’s traded resources is handled by just a few companies, many of them owned by just a few people. The authors of the book argue their influence is not limited to the economy: the commodity traders’ control over the flow of the world strategic resources has also made them powerful political actors. There are numerous tales of corruption and misdeeds, and investors are unwittingly involved. Will things change?
    Link to the book’s review, by Christopher Walker
  • ‘The Collapse of Complex Societies’ by Joseph A. Tainter
    Political disintegration is a persistent feature of world history. The Collapse of Complex Societies, though written by an archaeologist, will therefore strike a chord throughout the social sciences. Any explanation of societal collapse carries lessons not just for the study of ancient societies, but for the members of all such societies in both the present and future. Dr. Tainter describes nearly two dozen cases of collapse and reviews more than 2000 years of explanations. He then develops a new and far-reaching theory that accounts for collapse among diverse kinds of societies, evaluating his model and clarifying the processes of disintegration by detailed studies of the Roman, Mayan and Chacoan collapses.
  • ‘The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources’ by Michael T. Klare
    According to this wide-ranging, fascinating, and alarming book, governments and multinationals rush to secure what remains of the world’s dwindling resources—a scramble that is driving up commodity prices, raising the risk of conflicts, and creating a new set of political and business rivalries. The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources is a tale of what happens when frontiers become fringes, or as the author, Michael T. Klare, puts it, when the world enters “an era of pervasive, unprecedented resource scarcity.”
    Link to the book’s review, by Jonathan Watts